Ben Askren is now firmly embedded as a member of the UFC welterweight roster, having submitted Robbie Lawler at UFC 235. Unfortunately, his relationship with UFC President Dana White apparently remains strained.
Speaking on The MMA Hour on Monday, Askren explained that he still feels quite a bit of disdain from the UFC boss. In fact, he feels White is “repulsed” by him.
“Dana’s disdain for me is just so clear and evident,” Askren told Luke Thomas (transcript via MMA Fighting). “It’s so hilarious, because he keeps saying, ‘No, I like you, Ben. I don’t dislike you.’ But then literally every action, every body language tells a totally different story, that he is like somehow repulsed by me. He hasn’t liked me forever. He didn’t like me in 2013 when they refused to sign me; he doesn’t like me now.”
Ben Askren continued, explaining that he’s attempted to schedule a meeting with Dana White, but that all of his requests for a sit-down have gone unanswered.
“I have offered to sit down with the guy multiple times to be reasonable, like two adults should do,” he said. “He’s not taken me up one time. I genuinely don’t know what his problem with me is.”
Despite these comments from Ben Askren, Dana White has assured he doesn’t dislike the former ONE and Bellator champ. In fact, he says it was his idea to trade Demetrious Johnson to ONE in exchange for Askren.
“We just talked. This guy thinks I hate him,” Dana White said at the UFC 230 post-fight press conference. “If I hated you…I’m the one that came up with this deal, this was my idea. Why would I do this if I hated you so bad and didn’t want you to be here? It makes no sense.”
Do you think Dana White and Ben Askren will ever truly bury the hatchet?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/6/2019.